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The medical profession is justly conservative. Human life should not be considered as the proper
material for wild experiments.
Conservatism, however, is too often a welcome excuse for lazy minds, loath to adapt themselves to fast
changing conditions.
Remember the scornful reception which first was accorded to Freud's discoveries in the domain of the
When after years of patient observations, he finally decided to appear before medical bodies to tell them
modestly of some facts which always recurred in his dream and his patients' dreams, he was first
laughed at and then avoided as a crank.
The words "dream interpretation" were and still are indeed fraught with unpleasant, unscientific
associations. They remind one of all sorts of childish, superstitious notions, which make up the thread
and woof of dream books, read by none but the ignorant and the primitive.
The wealth of detail, the infinite care never to let anything pass unexplained, with which he presented to
the public the result of his investigations, are impressing more and more serious-minded scientists, but
the examination of his evidential data demands arduous work and presupposes an absolutely open mind.
This is why we still encounter men, totally unfamiliar with Freud's writings, men who were not even
interested enough in the subject to attempt an interpretation of their dreams or their patients' dreams,
deriding Freud's theories and combatting them with the help of statements which he never made.
Some of them, like Professor Boris Sidis, reach at times conclusions which are strangely similar to
Freud's, but in their ignorance of psychoanalytic literature, they fail to credit Freud for observations
antedating theirs.
Besides those who sneer at dream study, because they have never looked into the subject, there are those
who do not dare to face the facts revealed by dream study. Dreams tell us many an unpleasant biological
truth about ourselves and only very free minds can thrive on such a diet. Self-deception is a plant which
withers fast in the pellucid atmosphere of dream investigation.
The weakling and the neurotic attached to his neurosis are not anxious to turn such a powerful
searchlight upon the dark corners of their psychology.
Freud's theories are anything but theoretical.
He was moved by the fact that there always seemed to be a close connection between his patients'
dreams and their mental abnormalities, to collect thousands of dreams and to compare them with the
case histories in his possession.